Photo Update and Note, 9/19/10

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Here’s a quick and dirty picture update that my wife took of me with a cell phone while we were getting dressed to go out for the night.

I feel light, healthy, fast and young, even at 42. The best thing is this condition has never been easier or sustained for longer.

Which I regret that the first 3 decades of my life were a series of obsessive exercise and dieting, interlaced with constant weight struggles, easily ballooning up and then killing myself to lean down for only a couple of weeks before blowing up again.

Returning love handles and disappearing abdominal muscles were predictably regular. After so long I just accepted this constant cycle in quiet disappointment. Perhaps it was the driver behind my perpetual exploration into exercise science and experimentation of a million fat-loss diets.

Ironically, in the end exercise and diet for health and leanness need not be as complicated as the science implies.

I’ve managed to break free from an obsessive focus on diet and exercise, and liberated myself with a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle.

My exercise over the years has also changed dramatically, itself becoming less obsessive in schedule and structure, and becoming more instinctive and liberating.

My exercise now has a few basics:

  • Lift
  • Elevate heart rate
  • Vary types and speed of movement
  • 5 to 20 minutes*
  • Repeat at least a couple times a week, more is fine, too much is stupid

That’s it. Move around a lot for the rest of the week.

And eat mostly whole, real food. But also enjoy dessert and other foods the diet militants freak out about. Don’t eat more than your body need through time.

Keep it simple. Intermittent fasting helps.

* Not including warm-ups.

This entry was posted in Dietary Habit, Exercise and Physical Activities, weight Loss and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Photo Update and Note, 9/19/10

  1. Paul says:

    you look awesome
    posts like this keep me motivated

  2. Jedidja says:

    You are a constant inspiration 🙂

  3. Always great to get a new post. It’s like Christmas in July or, um, September.

  4. KevinT says:

    motivation and simplicity!

  5. Jordan D. says:

    Great job, Johnny! Way to lead by example. There are a lot of bloggers with excellent physiques, but I think yours comes closest to what I want for myself. (Of course, Martin Berkhan looks freakishly good, but that’s a bit, umm, unattainable. lol.)

    And it’s great to see you on Facebook! 🙂

  6. lolo says:

    Great, now take off your pants.


  7. Joe Gangemi says:

    Really impressive and inspirational… especially the revelation that you are 42! Makes this 40 yr old feel like it’s eminently doable. Would love to see a future blog with a bit more detail on your backstory of yo-yo weight gain/loss and early life as a self-proclaimed “fat kid.” (Apologies if you’ve blogged about this already and I just missed it.) Too often my default response to fitness bloggers who are impressively cut is to shrug and say, “Yeah, well, he’s just genetically gifted.” The fact that you’ve been there, and arrived here, is what makes your blog so compelling. Keep up the great work.

  8. Lee says:

    Huh, eat less. Who knew??????

  9. Daniel says:

    Johnny, your blog is great and I think I have found what I’ve been looking for.
    I’m a 18 years old guy and although I have never been fat, I’ve always been shapeless and flabby.

    Since I was 12 years old I wanted to improve my body and my health, without overdoing it or becoming an athlete. But all the advices I got revolved around bodybuilding, bulking and cutting, living in the gym, becoming big.

    So I wasted a lot of time with protocols for those who are fitness fanatics or wanna be huge while never getting consistent guidelines on how to just improve my body enough to feel healthy, light, confident and lively. Flexibility matters more than strength to me and definition matters more than size. I’m okay even with a skinny body as long as it has good shapes and nice definition and proportions.

    My goal physique is something like this:
    The reason is that I have a small frame and look younger than I am, so I know trying to have bigger muscles than that would be an useless challenge and would bring me nowhere. But that’s the kind of definition I like, small waist, good muscle shape, flat stomach. It also is a body that looks agile and flexibile, which is more in tune with my phylosophy that I want to be fit to enjoy life more and have more fun not to have my life absorbed by fitness. This is my body now:

    I wonder if you have few tips on how to get the physique I want and maintain it without getting obsessed or living in a gym. I’m very I found you blog because it’s the first time I read someone writing the same concepts I think.


  10. Stephon says:

    You look great , I read somewhere that you are only around 147 lbs?.Wow I am 5″5′ and 152lbs,but your leanness and mine are slightly different with yours being more ideal.This past week I have felt unusually fatigued and not sure if I am doing too much exercise,my schedule is usually some intense conditioning work on Monday for about 20 min,Tuesday Interval training of some sort (sprinting) Wednesday Strength training and then Thursday a 10 min bodyweight conditioning routine.Starting to wonder if this is too much because I felt really fatigued last week Friday.I want to be lean and perform the part as well,not sure if this route is necessarily best anymore.I also fast 16-20 hrs daily and love it.You don’t seem to work out as much but IMO your physique looks great.I would like to send you a photo of me my daughter took this past week and get an opinion from you ,maybe you can help with training frequency.Thanks and keep up the good work.

  11. Jane says:

    you look awesome :-), an inspiration. I am so jealous. I would be real happy to have a lean stomach. Only had it for about 6 months then it went flabby again. Gained body fat ever since then. Dunno what I am doing wrong.

    Keep doing what you are doing, it works for you!!!


  12. Johnny says:


    Great pic. I really believe now more than ever that being lean means keeping calories low are the way to go. Intermittent fasting has made this much more tolerable, and allows me to eat a few large meals that are really satisifying. I am finally fitting comfortably in size 32 pants, and some of them are actually loose. I am continuing my weight training, and hope to be close to seeing some abs very soon. Thanks for the inspiration.


  13. Al says:


    When do you schedule your workouts? Do you tend to work them around your feeding window or does it really matter? I guess all that matters it that you do them regardelss of time, am I right? Thanks!

  14. Yannick Messaoud says:

    Hey Johnny i find myself in the same boat as you i am 38 tough, i just found out i was anemic, fun stuff, by my new sport doctor.

    He changed my diet since then, got me drinking unsweetened soymilk with blackstrap molasses in the morning, eating oats, a bit more red meat, chicken, mixed beans in soup. All of theses containing iron, at some point doing ESE i just stop eating meat, also lowered my protein intake, but still continued training 5-6 times per week, guess i found out it was a bad idea the hard way. Now with this new diet i find myself eating around 120g a protein a day, as recommended by Brad Pilon for bigger guys, but still find it hard to lose weight, since i got back from my cruise i have been eating more, 3 times per day.

    Can i still get the full benefits of taking in all my B-12, calcium, iron eating only twice a day? To do this i guess one really needs to eat a flawless diet. And limit portion control.
    I also cut out the whey protein shakes, i really want to get everything i need in my food as much as i can, and limit the amount of supplement i take each month.

  15. Jef says:

    Hey Johnny…are you posting your typical exercise routine soon? I’m really eager to check it out and see how it matches what I’m currently doing.

  16. Jordan says:

    Hi Johnny,

    I’m as interested as Jef to see your typical exercise routine. I asked you for in the past but I did not get the answer I was waiting for. I will be really nice if you can do this in a future post. And maybe give more training videos like the one in your new post to see more precisely how you train.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Johnny says:

      You got it, Jordan. Soon. Thanks for your patience. I’ve got a crazy busy schedule right now, but I’ll keep at keep at this.


  17. Jordan says:

    Hi Johnny,

    It’s me again. I wanted to have some news from you since the last article is a little old. But i’m sure you are busy…You’ve told me that you’ll give a view of your typical workout routine. My goal is to achieve that type of body shape: ; ;; ;×733/3/47/68/88/9/ax1.jpeg

    Lol I think you got it: a male model look, a body that is really proportioned, lean and toned, not bulky!

    Thank you again!


    • Johnny says:


      I can appreciate your aspiration for the “model physique.” Just lift some weight. Getting “bulky” won’t happen overnight.


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